Derrick Lewis is a prominent mixed martial artist currently competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight class. After a turbulent childhood and a prison sentence, this passionate fighter has turned away from fighting as the only means of life, even if it means smashing heads and splitting bodies to take a risk that he believes has saved him from an almost catastrophic end.
In 2010 he turned pro and has since fought in Bellator MMA and Legacy FC, where he became heavyweight champion. His aggressiveness in the ring earned him the nickname “The Black Beast”. Since July 26, 2018, he is number 2 in the official UFC heavyweight ranking.
Derrick Lewis’ Bio
The fighter was born on February 7, 1985, as Derrick James Lewis in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he also grew up. He had a troubled childhood and fought all his life; he was often involved in street fights. Lewis was very athletic in high school and played soccer. A few years after his family moved to Houston, Texas in 1999, he started boxing training, but before he could fight his first amateur fight, the gym where he trained was closed. As if that wasn’t enough to discourage him from his dreams, two weeks after graduating high school he was charged with aggravated assault and put on probation.
After graduating high school, he was enrolled at Kilgore College on a full athletic scholarship but would quit after only one year because he violated his previous parole. As a result, he was sentenced to five years in prison, although he eventually served only three and a half years. Shortly after his release, he was introduced to mixed martial arts by a friend who knew how much he loved fighting. Lewis saw in it an easy way to make money and fully embraced it.
While working as a tow truck driver, he continued boxing under the guidance of former professional boxer George Foreman. Although he was on his way to becoming a professional boxer, he fell in love with MMA and has not looked back since he dominated in his first professional fight.
Derrick Lewis made his debut as an amateur fighter in late 2009 in a fight against Jay Ross, which he lost by technical knockout (TKO). Despite the defeat, this was his first step towards dominance in the fighting arena. He won his next fight on January 30, 2010, against Tim Buchanan, and three months later he became a professional.
More about his further winning series and his dominance… He set a fighting record of 4:1, whereupon he signed with Bellator Fighting Championships in May. During his time in Bellator, he was known for winning and successfully defending the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship. After his departure, he set a record 6-0 with a “no contest” (NC). Then came his phase of the United Fighting Championship (UFC).
Derrick Lewis made his UFC debut on April 19, 2014, in a fight against his newcomer Jack May, whom he defeated in the first round with a TKO victory. Since then it has been a series of victories for the Black Beast. His last fight was against Francis Ngannou on July 7, 2018. Before that, he was plagued by back pain, which not only hindered his performances and kept him away from some of his matches, but also caused him and his fans constant worry.
The injury prevented him from fully contesting his last fight, which he found lackluster, although he won by unanimous decision. Derrick Lewis has an MMA record of 20-5-0, 1 NC (win-loss draw), a record of 17 wins by knockout, one by submission (Armbar, his preferred grappling technique), and seven wins in the first round. His preferred striking technique is the head butt. On July 26, 2018, he will be number 2 in the official UFC heavyweight rankings.
He has also won three titles, including the title of Legacy Fighting Championship Heavyweight Champion. His next fight will be a big one. His planned duel with former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov on October 6th in the co-main event of the UFC 229 is certainly a fight to keep an eye on.
Like a neck pain that one does not know how to deal with, Lewis has had a back pain that has tormented him for years. Mostly he had to fight his way through the pain, another time he withdrew. Once the pain even prompted him to withdraw from MMA for a short time in 2017. Luckily for him, he would not give up the cards at some point, once he finally found a way to deal with the misery and end it.
He revealed that he had undergone a new treatment on his back, which meant his body was up to the challenge of taking over another fighting camp. He was treated by the same doctor who treated the golf icon, Tiger Woods. It was a steroid treatment where he was given 20 injections in the same place. The procedure has been approved by the USADA and is expected to take 10 to 12 months. With rehab and a little weight loss added to the steroid injections, Lewis would have enough relief before his fight with Volkov.
Family – Wife
Derrick Lewis grew up as one of seven siblings, the second oldest from a single mother, in a volatile household. Growing up without a father and with his mother in an abusive relationship, from the age of eight, he constantly watched his mother and stepfather engage in fistfights.
So he gained his earliest fighting experiences in his own home, and this was to be the template for his later years. For most of his adult years, he had to survive on the streets. To escape the unforgiving streets, he did what he had to do, even if it meant smashing skulls and spilling blood to survive from everyday life.
Over time, he spent some time in prison, where his transformation began. He dreamed of a better future for himself and set about forging it. Ultimately, these years are far behind him as he tries to make the lives of his family and children better than what he had.
On June 17, 2017, he married his longtime girlfriend in Hawaii. They already have three children together: a teenage daughter and two boys aged four and five.
Height, Weight, Body Measurements
Derrick Lewis is a fighter, and as such one would expect nothing less than a tattered body from him. Be that as it may, one does not find him deficient in this area. His 264-pound body is born through his 6′ 3″ (1.90 m) body frame. His other measurements include:
Reach: 79 inches
Leg Reach: 43 inches